Civil G8 2006 offers recommendations on G8 summit agenda
MOSCOW, March 10 – Members of the international forum of non-governmental organizations, Civil G8 2006, which closes today, have worked out recommendations on most issues included in the agenda of the G8 leaders’ summit that will take place in St. Petersburg this summer.
“The participants of our roundtables have reached agreement on principal issues and worked out recommendations,” Ella Pamfilova, coordinator of the national working group of the Civil G8 project and chairperson of the human rights and civil society council under the Russian president, said at the final news conference.
“Our task is to find out opinions of the public, and the task of G8 leaders is to take them into account,” she said. Documents on infectious diseases and education are “ready for submitting to the sherpas” of the NGOs that will accepts their texts. Only recommendations on energy security need to be adjusted during the week. The project’s coordinators assure that the problem is “purely technical.”
This is the first time a forum like that, accompanying all meetings of G8 leaders, has been held in Russia. It was attended by over 400 people representing 300 organizations from 30 countries. Environmental and human rights organizations sent the biggest number of delegates. There were many representatives from unions of students, businessmen and the disabled. Organizers of the Civil G8 promise that opinions of all the participants will be reflected in final documents.
At today’s plenary session the floor was even given to a representative of the antiglobalist movement, which, in fact, is the antipode of the Civil G8. Ilya Ponomarev, who spoke on behalf of Russian antiglobalists, recalled that the movement viewed “the Group of Eight as an illegitimate institution,” but emphasized that the dialog with the Russian authorities was “possible.”
Consultations with NGOs from different countries are traditionally held as part of preparations for G8 summits. Their main goal is to find out the opinions of civil society on priority issues defined by the country presiding in the club. The Civil G8 project was created in Russia late last year on NGOs’ initiative, in order to involve the public in the G8 process.